Talbot wins action-packed AGT Race 1 at SMP

Liam Talbot pic: Matthew Paul Photography

Liam Talbot has taken victory in an action-packed opening race for the Australian GT Championship at the Red Rooster Sydney SuperNight 300.

The Walkinshaw GT3 driver emerged out front at the end of the compulsory pit stop sequence after running fourth in the early stages.

Talbot managed to hold on to the lead despite immense pressure from Peter Hackett, who eventually spun and left the former to cruise home with a 12 second advantage at the end of the 40-minute race.

Hackett maintained second, while Fraser Ross (McLaren 650s GT3) finished third after a double pass at Turn 2 in the final 10 minutes in low-light conditions.

The Lamborghini Huracan GT3 of Adrian Deitz and Cameron McConville dropped to 11th at the flag after an impressive first stint from McConville which saw him momentarily lead the race.

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Pole-sitter Hackett held on to the lead on the run through the first two corners, as Mark Griffith got turned around at Turn 2 by the Ferrari 458 GT3 of Dave Stevens.

Steve Richards, who started from the outside of the front row, managed to keep in touch with Hackett in the early stages, but the former eventually opened up a lead.

Hackett was the first to blink and brought his Mercedes-AMG GT3 into the pits for its compulsory pit stop at the halfway mark of the race as the CPS window opened.

Richards pitted his BMW M6 GT3 on Lap 13, as McConville decided to run a lap longer out front before handing over to co-driver Deitz.

Talbot emerged in the race lead as Deitz rejoined third behind Hackett, who began pressuring Talbot for the lead.

Hackett tried a move around the outside at Turn 4 but slid out sideways and had to file back in behind the Porsche.

Another attempt for the lead came a handful of laps later with Hackett putting a move down the inside at Turn 2 but running wide and letting Talbot back past.

The Mercedes driver then spun on the exit of the final corner in the closing stages of the race, leaving Talbot to ease to victory.

Geoff Emery (Audi R8 LMS GT3) crossed the line fourth after he and third place finisher Ross slipped past a sideways Yasser Shahin (Mercedes-AMG GT3) late in the race.

Shahin completed the top five, one position ahead of the BMW Team SRM entry of Richards and Ricky Capo.

Next was a trio of Trophy class cars, headed by 16 year-old Ryan How (Audi R8 Ultra GT3) from Nick Kelly (Audi R8 Ultra GT3) and Stevens.

Tony Bates (Audi R8 LMS GT3), who was turned around by the BMW at Turn 1, rounded out the top 10, while David Crampton and Trent Harrison won the GT4 class in their KTM X-Bow in 18th outright.

A front left tyre failure forced Scott Taylor into pit lane aboard his Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the first 10 minutes of the race, dropping a number of laps down.

Brett Hobson in the Hobson Motorsport Nissan GT-R copped a five second time penalty, which he served in his CPS, for a start infringement and finished 13th outright.

Engine issues prevented the Miedecke Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage V12 GT3 from starting the race, while the similar example of Tony Quinn retired before the halfway point.

Round 5 of Australian GT continues with Race 2 at 1225 AEST on Saturday.

Results: Race 1 Updated*

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver(s) Car Class Laps Race time
1 911 Walkinshaw GT3 Liam Talbot Porsche 911 GT3 R CH 25 42:33.8349
2 63 Eggleston Motorsport Peter Hackett Mercedes-AMG GT3 CH 25 42:46.5602
3 59 Total Oil / Opti-Coat / Logite Fraser Ross McLaren 650S GT3 CH 25 42:55.8035
4 1 Valvoline Geoff Emery Audi R8 LMS CH 25 42:56.5352
5 777 The Bend Motor Sport Park Yasser Shahin Mercedes-AMG GT3 CH 25 43:00.0318
6 25 BTE Bulk Transport Equipment / Ryan How Audi R8 LMS Ultra TR 25 43:18.1454
7 99 Industrie Nick Kelly Audi R8 LMS Ultra TR 25 43:20.1543
8 100 BMW Team SRM S.Richards
BMW M6 GT3 CH 25 43:25.9323
9 24 KFC/Ctech Laser/Moveitnet/B&B Tony Bates Audi R8 LMS CH 25 43:26.0885
10 6 Wall Racing A.Deitz
Lamborghini Huracan CH 25 43:32.6921
11 23 Kentucky Fried Chicken Matthew Stoupas Audi R8 LMS Ultra TR 25 43:35.9337
12 96 Hobson Motorsport / Hi-Tech Oi Brett Hobson Nissan GTR Nismo GT3 CH 25 43:39.0048
13 19 Hogs Breath Cafe / Griffith Co Mark Griffith Mercedes Benz GT3 CH 25 43:41.7860
14 147 Superfluid Dave Stevens Ferrari 458 GT3 TR 25 43:58.7272
15 188 E.A.T. Furniture Rio Nugara Audi R8 LMS Ultra TR 25 44:04.3782
16 991 Perfect Auto Body Vincent Muriti Audi R8 LMS Ultra TR 25 44:08.8978
17 49 M Motorpsort J.McMillan
Lamborghini RE-X CH 24 44:08.2677
18 50 Vantage Freight / M Motorsport D.Crampton
Reiter KTM X-Bow GT4 23 43:02.8632
19 29 Haemokinesis / Trofeo Estate / Jim Manolios Lamborghini Huracan CH 23 43:22.9214
20 12 Aranik Racing J.Nikolovski
Ferrari 458 Challenge TR 23 43:35.4741
21 67 JMG / Bilstein Jeremy Gray Aston Martin Vantage GT4 23 44:01.4635
22 222 Scott Taylor Motorsport Scott Taylor Mercedes-AMG GT3 CH 22 42:49.7945
DNF 7 Local Legends Beef Jerky Tony Quinn Aston Martin Vantage CH 8 16:39.0692

* Post-race penalties for Cars #100, #147

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